Vol17 No.9: 2241-2261
【Title】Assessing tourism sustainability in hill towns: Case study of Shimla, India
【Author】Rukhsana N. BADAR*; Sarika P. BAHADURE
【Addresses】Department of Architecture and Planning, Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, South Ambazari Road, Nagpur440010, Maharashtra, India
【Corresponding author】Rukhsana N. BADAR
【Citation】Badar RN, Bahadure SP (2020) Assessing tourism sustainability in hill towns: Case study of Shimla, India. Journal of Mountain Science 17(9). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-019-5683-5
【Abstract】Hill towns form a popular niche in tourism destinations. They are renowned for their natural beauty and distinctive cultural traditions. Unplanned development can lead to a loss in opportunity to access the potential of these resources or cause their damage. Development decisions need to adopt a sustainable approach that balances tourism growth with the preservation of the natural and cultural assets. The present research details a comprehensive assessment tool to study the sustainability of tourism in hill towns with a focus on Shimla, a popular hill destination in India. The tool specifies seven dimensions of sustainable tourism; 1) Tourism Assets; 2) Tourism Activity; 3) Tourism Related Linkages; 4) Tourism Related Leakages; 5) Environmental and Social Sustainability; 6) Infrastructure; and 7) Attractiveness. Primary data were collected through questionnaire surveys of local households and arriving tourists. Visual survey is conducted to map built-environment and land-use. Secondary data were gathered from government reports and scholarly articles. A framework of indicators and sub-indicators was developed to analyze the data at two levels – city and ward. While the appraisal of the city provides an overall view of the performance of the tourism industry, at the ward level a comparative analysis was carried out to reveal sector related potentials and issues. The study reveals the imbalanced tourism concentration in the core of the city as compared to other wards and the gap between tourist potential and infrastructure development. These are addressed through planning recommendations for more balanced development with a focus on eco-tourism. The research helps develop a framework which paves way to sustainable tourism development in Indian hill towns.
【Keywords】Sustainable tourism; Hill towns; Tourism assets; Tourism linkages; Tourism leakages